Monday, April 16, 2007

Spring Update

Now that I'm reading Eugene O'Neill, I'm horrified not to have done so, before. A TOUCH OF THE POET dramatizes so beautifully the dreaminess that is so common among us in America--bred as we are to outsized aspirations--as to be a national trait. DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS digs up the twisted roots envy that can overtake any of us when we're starved of either affection or material security. I'm reading MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN now, in which Tim True was so effective in a CoHo production, a few years ago. After I'm done reading a bit more O'Neill, I move on to Tennessee Williams, whom I haven't read since high school. So it's about damned time, I'd say.

As well as chewing through my reading list for UHouston, I'm also working on scenes for Michael Mendelson's scene study class. I've been doing Mr. George from VALENTINE'S DAY, by Horton Foote. Mr. George is fighting desperately against Alzheimer's, and losing. When I read VALENTINE'S DAY, COURTSHIP, and 1918 the first three times, I didn't much care for them. I felt annoyed by how the characters kept not talking about what was right in front of them. They seemed to have the attention span of gnats. But, then I got COURTSHIP from Netflix and popped it into the dvd player, and was hooked within a half hour. The difference was that, in performance, I could see the character's hanging on to what the given circumstances is doing to them, one moment to the next. On the page, I just saw the dialogue moving on (Foote uses no stage directions.) On screen, the characters remain visibly shaken, as events large and small effect them in layer upon layer.

The other big thing I'm doing is preparing to play Ezra Rosen, the aging author, in Neal Corl's DANGEROUS WRITING. The part is both close to me and distant. It's also many-layered, deliciously so. So much so, that I will be reluctant to talk to much about it until after we're done shooting, some time in June. I want to keep my conversations about, and preparations for, Ezra between me and my director, with whom I have enough mutual understanding and short-hand not to endanger the richness and delicacy by the wrong kind of bluntness.

Lastly, I need to physically prepare for my move to Houston. In particular, this means selling off the remnants of professional photography/studio gear I still own, as well as my home stereo, books, and some furniture. Ugh. But, it's good to shed such unwanted accumulation of owned things.

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